On Monday 10th April I didn’t know I had legs, had no bowel or bladder control and couldn’t even wiggle a toe.
It’s now Saturday 15th April 2017 and the world looks a different place again. I’m now pretty sure I’m walking out of here.
So what happened and how?
At this stage, I honestly don’t know, but I like it. I’ve missed a few bits out so far, so I’ll cover some of them now to help explain the context of how I think this could have happened.
My brothers in law both came and saw me on Monday and both brought their own different things. Ben a quiet stoicism, a huge slice of laughter and Georgia too.
Stuart turned up and took control of the things I couldn’t. He’d driven up from Milton Keynes, back to Wirral and back again to find some paperwork and begin a critical illness claim for me. I’m useless at that sort of admin, Stuart thrives on it.
By taking control of the one area I felt weakest, he took away so much stress for me that he allowed me to make this level of progress.
And I don’t believe it’s flattery to him for the help, it’s the truth. It’s about him taking over what he does best which is quietly control the bits where he’s most comfortable and others like me are at our weakest. I’ve known him for 27 years, with 25 of them as my brother in law and for as long as I can remember, he’s always done it.
The difference is now, i’ve noticed the difference it’s made.
Because I’m walking back to wonderment.
Via a good poo
I know I talk about poo a lot.
You don’t realise it’s a privilege to know you’re having one until you believe you can’t.
And I’m over that now. I have now been and sat on a toilet, having decided I needed to, excused myself from my wife on the chair beside me and zimmered off and done one.
Again a little context. As every poo needs.
My bottom has been very much a trouble free exit for all of its life. A one way street in an outwardly direction.
When Oscar Wilde was having trouble with his bottom and went to see his doctor about it, he was asked to explain the area of pain.
Wilde said ‘here, by the entrance’
The doctor then explained it was an exit and that’s probably where his trouble lay.
Well for me, in the last week or two, mine suddenly became an entrance too. Not through choice, but neccessity.
Both GP’s saw fit to have a rummage with full on head torches, rubber gloves, lubricants and oversize thumbs. Needles followed to assess whether I could tell whether something was sharp or blunt.
Yes, that is a bloody needle you are poking up my bloody hole. Stop. Now. Please.
All week, doctor after doctor and nurse after nurse have burst the unpleasant little face of my starfish with a thumb, the occasional needles, blunt instruments and enemas.
But my exit is intact. And I can poo.
Life is going to be okay.
Looking at things through little people’s eyes
Back in 2009, I wrote on my blog about brand owners, my beloved Howies in particular and how they needed to keep remembering who their customers were and see the world through their eyes. It featured Tom Hanks and the film Big too.
In my new life now I’m hoping that I can appreciate the difference between just being present and actively listening. My pal Leila once admitted that we both keep our mouths shut when the other is talking, but only because we are thinking about what to say next. That’s not listening, its politeness.
And it’s changing.
I know I’m already seeing things with a totally childish awe and wonder. The joy I’m taking from some chewy toast with butter is more immense than I could ever have believed. I’m looking at the clock and some is due soon.
I’m vibrating with excitement. If there was a toast bell, I’d be salivating.
It’s not just about walking again it’s about clearing the fog and seeing again.
That’s why I’ve began to enjoy this journey.
And journey it is. Watch out here comes Wonder Woman.
My very good friend Tim Garratt brought me in a kind and thoughtful present.
A Wonder Woman robe.
So I used it to fly.
I’m sorry I’m dressed like a fool and grinning like a clown. But this is what someone who feels like they are the luckiest person alive looks like right there.
I have it all.
Love and freedom.
There’s no medicine in the world quite like it.
There’s still lots up in the air and we don’t know how it will fall.
I’m due more scans on the MRI. It was delayed yesterday as there was a traffic accident locally and as they were emergency patients, they took priority.
Wait, stop, listen.
I’m no longer an emergency, I’m out of NSPU and I’m recovering.
My first thought wasn’t to blame the system it was to praise it and to understand how lucky I’ve been to get through this first critical phase.
The scan is looking to confirm what they’ve done. It’s also to search for other tumours, if they exist. What was removed may have been a tumour or it maybe a bone fragment that had a growth around it. We don’t yet know.
If they do find more, we fight on with the same strategy and different tools. Hopefully it won’t come to that but the threat is hanging there and we are going to beat that too if it arises.
There’s also the pathology report for what has been removed. It’s probably benign, but i’m not in any great hurry to see that either to be honest. I’m enjoying one day at a time and taking on each battle individually.
I’m now lucky enough to be in a little side room off a main ward. I’m next door to the NSPU team who nursed me for the first days after the operation and even though I’m not under their watch, I’m loving my 3am chats and their constant and ongoing care. Thanks again to two astonishing nurses in Gail and Melissa.
My sister and her family are over from Australia by some beautiful coincidence this week. We were due to be having a 30 person cousins reunion down in Kent. Selfishly I can no longer attend so they are moving it here.
So I’ve got 20 plus to see me today. My mum being one of them. She’s 78, broke both legs within four months at the end of last year and is walking in to see me. If there was ever a sign I’m my mothers son, that’s it right there.
Today is going to be a good day.
Tomorrow is going to be even better. I’m surrounded by my family, friends and enveloped in a love I never thought I deserved or was even possible for one person to experience.
So onwards and upwards. Wonder Woman flies.